Crooked River Fishing Report

A short journey, just a 1-hour drive east of Bend, will take you to a very special place – the Crooked River tailwater. Beginning at the meeting of the South Fork Crooked River and Beaver Creek, the river flows beneath the shadows of the Ochoco Mountains and Ochoco National Forest, flows into the Prineville Reservoir then turns north gathering several small tributaries before emptying into Lake Billy Chinook.


Like other rivers in this area, 18 miles of the Crooked are designated as a National Recreational River. Once home to migrating anadromous Chinook salmon, steelhead trout and Pacific lamprey, the combined forces of dams, irrigation and low water caused those populations to disappear. Today the non-migratory, redband trout is the only remaining native species left in the Crooked. That said, they appear to be thriving and sections of this river are considered by veteran anglers to have the best redband fishing in all of Oregon.

Most anglers consider the 7-mile area below Bowman Dam and the outlet of the Prineville Reservoir, the top place to fish and one of the most productive trout waters in the state. Cool water releases from the dam keep the water at about 50 degrees year round, and fish counts range from 1,000 to 8,000 per mile.


The river, open year round, is managed as a wild trout fishery with catch and release restrictions. The Prineville Reservoir however, supports large populations of rainbow, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and crayfish and can be fished by boat. Further downstream at the Crooked River Gorge good fishing can also be found but access is limited.
North Fork Crooked, Ochoco Creek and Beaver Creek
South Fork Crooked
125 miles
Seasonal Conditions
SpringBWO, Caddis, Grannom, Green Caddis
SummerMahogany Dun, Caddis
FallBWO, Green Caddis, Mahogany Dun, October Caddis
WinterMahogany Dun
Fishing Trips
Bend, Oregon Guided Fly Fishing Trips on the Crooked River! River Borne Outfitters offers day and half day, guided fly fishing trips on the Crooked River, a scenic high desert river ... more45 minutes east of Bend, Oregon. The beauty and productivity of the Crooked River make it a popular destination for many Central Oregon fly fishers and visitors alike.

The Crooked River is a tail water fishery that has a large population of wild "Redside" rainbow trout and whitefish. As a result of being dam controlled the section of the Crooked River below Bowman Dam experiences stable, albeit cold water temperatures and prolific bug hatches making for ideal fish habitat. The best fishing and where we focus our efforts is the 10 miles of river below Bowman Dam, and Prineville Reservoir.

The Crooked River is the best river to learn to fly fish on in Central Oregon!

All levels of anglers will enjoy the Crooked River. Beginning anglers often experience good success, It is the most ideal river in Central Oregon to try your hand at fly fishing for the first time.

The Crooked River is a great option for those who have just an morning or afternoon to fish. It is close enough to Bend or Sunriver to wet a line and be back in time for that tee time or dinner reservation!

The half day walk in trips on the Crooked River are our most affordable trip.

All equipment is provided in the trip cost, including waders, boots, fly rod rentals, and flies and leaders. The only thing you need to purchase for your trip is a fishing license.

The Crooked River is is a good option for corporate, family, and other group gatherings!

We have a lot of experience in teaching and guiding individuals and groups including children.

A small client to guide ratio (no more than 4:1) is provided so you will have the hands on instruction you need to be successful!
FLY FISHING ON THE CROOKED RIVER The Crooked River is one of the state’s most popular spots. This small stream is known as a year round fishery and most of the time it lives up to ... morethat designation. It has the most prolific trout population of any stream in Central Oregon and lives up to it’s reputation as a very good fishery.

Spring, Summer and Fall often gives us amazing fishing opportunities with BWO’s, PMD’s, Caddis and Midges accounting for the very best fishing of the season. Nymph fishing with small zebra midges and micro mayfly nymphs is absolutely the best way to take trout and some really nice whitefish on the Crooked. Around the middle of May to the middle of June you should encounter some monster caddis hatches. In the fall add Mahogany Duns to the list of hatches and look for them in September and early October in pretty decent numbers.
Winter fishing is often good, there are good midge hatches to be found and drifting a zebra midge is hard to beat.

Scuds, Eggs and Prince Nymphs are often a really good bet for the off times of hatches or biological drift activity.

The Crooked River is best fished in the Tailwater section from Bowman Dam back downstream towards Prineville to Mile Marker 12. This 8 mile stretch of river is the best section of water to fly fish. There are also limited opportunities to fish the Crooked River near Smith Rock State Park and near Opal Springs.
The Crooked River is a special resource, having a 100% native fish population, and is located just 40 minutes outside of Bend, Oregon. The Crooked River has an incredibly robust population ... moreof Redside Rainbow Trout, slightly smaller than those in the Lower Deschutes River, but still famous for their fight.

Full & Half Day Wade Trips on the Crooked River are filled with both nymph and dry fly action and are suited particularly well for “never-ever” and “seasoned” fly fishers alike. Providing those with less experience with the opportunity to hook MANY trout throughout the day and experienced anglers with the opportunity to refine their technique, the Crooked River is sure to impress. With some of the most dramatic scenery in Central Oregon, the Crooked River Canyon is awe inspiring in and of itself, not to mention the HOT fishing! Your guide will prepare a delicious riverside meal for your enjoyment as you spend a day on the river.
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Fishing Access Sites
One of the most productivetrout streams in Central Oregon. Best fishing is from Castle Rock Campground up river to Bowman Dam.
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Top Fly Fishing River
Rated as one of the top trout fishing rivers in the US by Bob Mallard, author of 25 Best Towns - Fly Fishing for Trout
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